BWW Reviews: Green Day's AMERICAN IDIOT at SoLuna Studio
When Green Day's American Idiot arrived on Broadway in 2010, it received a mixed response. When I saw the OBC, I thought they were absolutely stunning and found the book, like everyone else, safe. Furthermore, you have the hard rocking score that is Green Day's Grammy winning album that the musical is derived from. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience seeing it on the Great White Way and I am delighted Hauppauge's SoLuna Studio has added it to their summer season.
The Karen Braun directed production, which runs through August 16th at the intimate Long Island venue, boasts a wonderful, energetic cast. Johnny, John Gallagher, Jr.'s role from the Broadway cast, is portrayed by David Reyes and Tunny, Stark Sands' role from the Broadway cast, is portrayed by Dan Dougherty. Displeased with living in suburbia, they flee looking for a more meaningful life. Their friend, Will, Michael Esper's role from the Broadway cast portrayed here by Zachary Fader, decides to stay as his girlfriend, Heather, portrayed by Megan Cain, is pregnant. Also part of the cast is SoLuna super-talent Alicia Bagley portraying the Extraordinary Girl who Tunny meets while in combat. And with a very strong, fierce performance is Nicki Nevermann portraying St. Jimmy, Johnny's enabler. We watch Johnny roam the city and meet a woman we only know as Whatsername, Rebecca Naomi Jones' role from the Broadway cast portrayed beautifully here by Krisbel Brenes, and Tunny joins the military while Will becomes withdrawn and apathetic.
Everyone in the cast is truly top notch.
Also a highlight is the fantastic set done by Megan Pietroforte and Steve Maiorca. Albeit minimal moving pieces and props, they hand painted the open stage with an array of Green Day references, album symbols, and the NYC skyline. Ms. Pietroforte also manages the wonderful lighting and sound design and Danny Passadino cleverly directs the terrific live band.
And so, Green Day's American Idiot is indeed another hit for SoLuna Studio. Forget any negative things you've heard about this show and enjoy the superb cast and music. The cast even invites you to sing along with them for a rendition of "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" as the Broadway cast did - minus the guitars. All in all, this is a thrilling night of theatre.
Green Day's American Idiot is presented by SoLuna Studio of Hauppauge, Long Island, through August 16th. Book and Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong, Book by Michael Mayer, Music & Lyrics by Green Day, Direction and Choreography by Karen Braun (Choreography with Brittney Banks), Musical Direction by Danny Passadino, Assistant Director/Stage Management by Samantha Coleman, Lighting and Sound by Megan Pietroforte, Set Design by Megan Pietroforte and Steve Maiorca, Costumes by Karen Braun and Samantha Coleman. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-761-6602 or visit www.solunastudiony.com.